The feud between current Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz and current contender KJ Noons has been well-documented both in and out of the cage. The two first squared off in November 2007, then again in a less formal capacity during the closing moments of an EliteXC broadcast, and have been linked as being one of MMA’s most-heated rivalries since.
As such, it stood to reason a war of words between Diaz and Noons might develop during the build towards their October 9th Strikeforce title bout once old feelings began to surface again. However, those who might have presumed the outspoken Diaz would fire the first significant shot would have been wrong, as Noons made it very clear in a recent conversation with Strikeforce his respect for the Stockton native is limited to purely the skills he offers in the ring.
“Nick’s good for entertainment, but I come from a family of fighters,” said Noons. “I started early, and I have respect for martial arts. It teaches you discipline, how to become a good person, and I feel that I am. On October 9th, I’m fighting a guy that, if I had a kid, I wouldn’t want him looking up to. He’s a trash-talking, pot-smoking chump.”
“I already got one up on Nick. I beat the crap out of the guy. He’s had a good run, and there’s a lot of build-up for this rematch. We’ve both improved, this is a different weight class now, he’s gotten better, I’ve gotten better…it’s a different situation. But at the end of the day, I’m a true mixed martial artist, I have respect for the sport, and I am a good role model,” the 27-year old striker continued.
The former EliteXC champ also didn’t shy away from letting fans know his intent or motivation when the action begins in San Jose come that not-too-distant Saturday night. Explained Noons, “This is beyond a grudge match. I’m going to light him up like a Christmas tree. He’s going to have to kill me to lose. It’s very personal.”
Noons is 10-2 in his career and most recently beat Jorge Gurgel via second round TKO at “Strikeforce – Houston” this past August. He is currently on a six fight win streak.